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Smart Shape-Shifting Clothing Takes Over the Runway at NYFW

Clothes that intelligently change form according to data taken from your body? That’s what’s possible thanks to 3D printing and a new hardware module from Intel that looks to change what our humble garments are capable of (so, more than just hanging on your body).

Intel and fashion line Chromat are at New York Fashion Week this week to show off two new garments that show off Intel’s new technology — a dress and a sports bra. Both have Intel’s Curie module woven in and use 3D printed panels to help the garments change shape according to the needs of the wearer. Curie is a tiny processor paired with a developer kit open to fashion designers, so they can decide what exactly to do with it. Curie is optimized for analysis of sensor data, but it’s capable of much more than what we’ve seen from other smart garments, which to now have mostly been fitness trackers.
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The sports bra and the dress use Curie in very different ways. The Chromat Aeros Sports Bra specializes in temperature control — when an increase in heat or sweat is detected, vents in the bra will automatically open to help cool the wearer off, closing or tightening when temperature drops to help the wearer warm up. It’d be great especially for anyone who likes going on mid-winter runs, but sounds like a pretty sweet deal in general.

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The Chromat Adrenaline Dress is all about style and excitement. When an increase in adrenaline is detected, Curie tells carbon fiber threads woven into the garment to change their shape, expanding the dress into an hourglass shape.

Right now, both garments exist just as proofs of concept. We’re hoping that now that the concept is proven, we’ll see this kind of smart clothing come off the runway and into stores sometime soon.

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